State of the Art

  • Patrick EhrenbrinkEmail author
Part of the T-Labs Series in Telecommunication Services book series (TLABS)


The state of the art chapter gives an overview on psychological reactance. Psychological reactance can be split up into two concepts. The first concept is state reactance. State reactance is a motivational state that people can enter after experiencing a threat to their freedom of choice or them being in control. The other concept is trait reactance. Trait reactance is a personality trait and can be regarded as a person’s proneness of entering a reactant state. State reactance is the main focus of this book. At first, possible consequences of state reactance are introduced. These are typical behaviors that people engage in when they enter a reactant state. Afterward, the construct of state reactance is introduced in detail. It is argued, that state reactance can be regarded as an intermixture of negative cognitions and anger. After the concept of state reactance has been introduced, possible moderator variables are described which might influence the effect of state reactance on the acceptance of technical devices or services. Following the moderators, different techniques of assessing state reactance are introduced, which may be used to measure state reactance in the course of this work. The next section introduces the concept of trait reactance. Trait reactance is a personality trait that is relatively stable over time and does not depend on the current situation. Afterward, different questionnaires that can be used to measure a person’s level of trait reactance are introduced. One of these questionnaires has been undergoing an extensive amount of tests and revisions since its introduction. In order to illustrate its problematic factor structure, the history of this test is presented in detail. The identified assessment tools for state and trait reactance are discussed in terms of their usefulness for reactance research in the context of human–computer interaction at the end of Part I. It is concluded that two of the trait reactance measures are adequate to be used as unidimensional questionnaires in the further course of this work. However, no measure for state reactance is regarded as adequate, therefore a new questionnaire has to be constructed.


  1. 1.
    Bortz, J., Dring, N.: Forschungsmethoden und Evaluation für Statistik für Human- und Sozialwissenschaftler, 4th edn. Springer (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brehm, S.S.: The Apllication of Social Psychology to Clinical Practice. Hemisphere Publishing Corporation (1976)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brehm, J.W.: A Theory of Psychological Reactance. Academic Press, New York (1966)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brehm, S.S., Brehm, J.W.: Psychological Reactance: A Theory of Freedom and Control. Academic Press, New York (1981)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown, A.R., Finney, S.J., France, M.K.: Using the bifactor model to assess the dimensionality of the hong psychological reactance scale. Educ. Psychol. Measurement 71(1), 170–185 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Burgoon, M., Alvaro, E.M., Broneck, K., Miller, C., Grandpre, J.R., Hall, J.R., Frank, C.A.: Using interactive media tools to test substance abuse prevention messages. In: Crano, W.D., Burgoon, M. (Eds.), Mass Media and Drug Prevention: Classic and Contemporary Theories and Research, pp. 67–87. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, Mahwah, NJ, USCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Byrne, B.M.: Structural Equation Modeling with LISREL, PRELIS, and SIMPLIS: Basic Concepts, Applications, and Programmings. Psychology Press, Tylor & Francis Group (1998)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carpinella, C.M., Wyman, A.B., Perez, M.A., Stroessner, S.J.: The robotic social attributes scale (rosas): development and validation, pp. 254–262 (2017).
  9. 9.
    Cronbach, L.J.: Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika 16(3), 297–334 (1951). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dillard, J.P., Shen, L.: On the nature of reactance and its role in persuasive health communication. Commun. Monographs 72(2), 144–168 (2005). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dowd, E.T., Milne, C.R., Wise, S.L.: The therapeutic reactance scale: A measure of psychological reactance. J. Couns. Dev. 69(6), 541–545 (1991). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Edwards, A.: Techniques of Attitude Scale Construction. Century psychology series. Irvington Publishers (1983). URL
  13. 13.
    Edwards, A.L.: The relationship between the judged desirability of a trait and the probability that the trait will be endorsed. J. Appl. Psychol. 37(2), 90 (1953)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ehrenbrink, P., Osman, S., Möller, S.: Google Now is for the Extraverted, Cortana for the introverted: Investigating the influence of personality on IPA preference. In: Proceedings of the 29th Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 1–9. ACM, New York, NY (2017). Electronic, online
  15. 15.
    Field, A.: Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics, vol. 4. SAGE Publications Ltd (2013)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ghazali, A.S., Ham, J., Barakova, E., Markopoulos, P.: The influence of social cues in persuasive social robots on psychological reactance and compliance. Comput. Human Behav. 87, 58–65 (2018). URL Scholar
  17. 17.
    Grandpre, J., Alvaro, E.M., Burgoon, M., Miller, C.H., Hall, J.R.: Adolescent reactance and anti-smoking campaigns: a theoretical approach. Health Commun. 3, 349–366 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Herzberg, P.Y.: Zur psychometrischen Optimierung einer Reaktanzskala mittels klassischer IRT-basierter Analysemethoden. Diagnostica 48(4), 163–171 (2002). Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hong, S.M., Faedda, S.: Refinement of the hong psychological reactance scale. Educ. Psychol. Measurement 56(1), 173–182 (1996). Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hong, S.M., Page, S.: A psychological reactance scale: development, factor structure and reliability. Psychol. Reports 64(3\_suppl), 1323–1326 (1989). Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hong, S.M.: Hong’s psychological reactance scale: a further factor analytic validation. Psychol. Reports 70(2), 512–514 (1992). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hong, S.M., Ostini, R.: Further evaluation of merz’s psychological reactance scale. Psychol. Reports 64(3), 707–710 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jonas, E., Graupmann, V., Kayser, D.N., Zanna, M., Traut-Mattausch, E., Frey, D.: Culture, self, and the emergence of reactance: is there a universal freedom? J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 45(5), 1068–1080 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jonason, P.K., Knowles, H.M.: A unidimensional measure of hong’s psychological reactance scale. Psychol. Reports 98(2), 569–579 (2006). PMID: 16796116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kidder, L., Judd, C., Smith, E., for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, S.: Research methods in social relations. Holt, Rinehart and Winston (1986). URL
  26. 26.
    Likert, R.: A technique for the measurement of attitudes. Archi, Psychol (1932)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lindsey, L.L.M.: Anticipated guilt as behavioral motivation an examination of appeals to help unknown others through bone marrow donation. Human Commun. Res. 31(4), 453–481 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mayer, R.E., Sobko, K., Mautone, P.D.: Social cues in multimedia learning: role of speaker’s voice. J. Educ. Psychol. 95(2), 419–425 (2003). Scholar
  29. 29.
    Merz, J.: Fragebogen zur messung der psychologischen reaktanz. Diagnostica 29(1), 75–82 (1983)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nass, C., Moon, Y.: Machines and mindlessness: social responses to computers. J. Social Issues 56(1), 81–103 (2000). URL Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pervin, L.A., John, O.P.: Personality Theory and Research, 8th edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2001)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Quick, B.L., Stephenson, M.T.: Examining the role of trait reactance and sensation seeking on perceived threat, state reactance, and reactance restoration. Human Commun. Res. 34(3), 448–476 (2008). Scholar
  33. 33.
    Quick, B.L., Stephenson, M.T.: The reactance restoration scale (rrs): a measure of direct and indirect restoration. Commun. Res. Reports 24(2), 131–138 (2007). Scholar
  34. 34.
    Quick, B.L.: What is the best measure of psychological reactance? an empirical test of two measures. Health Commun. 27(1), 1–9 (2012). PMID: 21714621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Quick, B.L., Scott, A.M., Ledbetter, A.M.: A close examination of trait reactance and issue involvement as moderators of psychological reactance theory. J. Health Commun. 16(6), 660–679 (2011). Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rains, S.A.: The nature of psychological reactance revisited: a meta-analytic review. Human Commun. Res. 39(1), 47–73 (2013). Scholar
  37. 37.
    Rains, S.A., Turner, M.M.: Psychological reactance and persuasive health communication: a test and extension of the intertwined model. Human Commun. Res. 33(2), 241–269 (2007). Scholar
  38. 38.
    Roubroeks, M., Ham, J., Midden, C.: The dominant robot: Threatening robots cause psychological reactance, especially when they have incongruent goals. In: Ploug, T., Hasle, P., Oinas-Kukkonen, H. (eds.) Persuasive Technology, pp. 174–184. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Roubroeks, M., Ham, J., Midden, C.: When artificial social agents try to persuade people: the role of social agency on the occurrence of psychological reactance. Int. J. Soc. Robot. 3(2), 155–165 (2011). Scholar
  40. 40.
    Roubroeks, M., Midden, C., Ham, J.: Does it make a difference who tells you what to do ? exploring the effect of social agency on psychological reactance. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, Persuasive ’09, pp. 15:1–15:6. ACM, New York, NY, USA (2009).
  41. 41.
    Schwartz, S.H.: Awareness of consequences and the influence of moral norms on interpersonal behavior. Sociometry, pp. 355–369 (1968)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Schwartz, S.H.: Awareness of interpersonal consequences, responsibility denial, and volunteering. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 30(1), 57 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Shen, L., Dillard, J.P.: Psychometric properties of the hong psychological reactance scale. J. Pers. Assess. 85(1), 74–81 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sittenthaler, S., Traut-Mattausch, E., Steindl, C., Jonas, E.: Salzburger state reactance scale (ssr scale): Validation of a scale measuring state reactance. Zeitschrift für Psychologie 223, 257–266 (2015). Scholar
  45. 45.
    Smith, M.J.: The effects of threats to attitudinal freedom as a function of message quality and initial receiver attitude. Commun. Monogr. 44(3), 196–206 (1977). Scholar
  46. 46.
    Steindl, C., Jonas, E., Sittenthaler, S., Traut-Mattausch, E., Greenberg, J.: Understanding psychological reactance. Zeitschrift für Psychologie 223, 205–214 (2015). Scholar
  47. 47.
    Thomas, A., Donnell, A.J., Buboltz Jr., W.C.: The hong psychological reactance scale: A confirmatory factor analysis. Measurement Eval. Couns. Dev. 34(1), 2 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Tucker, R.K., Byers, P.Y.: Factorial validity of merz’s psychological reactance scale. Psychol. Reports 61(3), 811–815 (1987). Scholar
  49. 49.
    Weise, G.: Psychologische Leistungstests: ein Handbuch für Studium und Praxis. Verlag für Psychologie Hogrefe, Psychologische Leistungstests (1975)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Yost, A.B., Behrend, T.S., Howardson, G., Badger Darrow, J., Jensen, J.M.: Reactance to electronic surveillance: a test of antecedents and outcomes. J. Bus. Psychol. (2018). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Werder (Havel)Germany

Personalised recommendations